The 7 Worst Car Passengers

Forget the endless stopping and starting, the traffic jams and the right-hand-turn-only lane when you’re desperate to go left what causes drivers the most stress is their passengers writes Geraldine Herbert.

1) The Backseat Driver
These are the real experts when it comes to driving and they dispense unwanted but well-intentioned advice at every twist and turn in the road. There is simply no driving experience they have not had regardless of conditions and terrain and don’t get them started on parking. We have noticed that they are rarely in the driving seat themselves.

2) The Boy/Girl Racer
Step aside Lewis Hamilton, for this passenger life is not a destination but a journey and one that should be enjoyed at top speed. An amber light at the traffic lights is a signal to accelerate while green lights are an opportunity to demonstrate a car’s 0-100 speed. They will egg you on to overtake or race people off the lights and in extreme cases they will even honk the horn for you.

3) The Screamer
You can instantly recognise these passengers by the way they grip the door handle. They spend half the car journey screaming in terror anticipating what other drivers are likely to do and the other half with their eyes tightly shut. Take heart in the fact that even the safest of drivers cannot cure “hysterical passenger syndrome”.

4) The DJ
“My car, my rules” is lost on the “DJ”. With the attention span of a 5 year old they change the music or adjust the volume every thirty seconds. Be prepared also for the unwelcome high pitched notes as the journey quickly becomes an in-car karaoke session. Ten minutes “enjoying” the company of the “DJ” will have you searching for the ejector seat button.

5) The Poor Navigator
Despite the ease and popularity of google maps and sat nav apps there are still passengers who provide the driver with poor directions. Instructions like “Oh sorry. I think that maybe you should have taken a left there” or “it’s over there somewhere I don’t know exactly where but we’ll find it if we drive around for a while” are really not helpful.

6) The Social Media Addict
Never misses an opportunity to document every minor event and update their friends and followers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. At the first set of traffic lights they “check in” followed by a post on Instagram and then they spend the rest of the journey investigating how many people have liked their post in between streaming a trip through a roundabout.  These passengers are easy to spot as they use the phrase “hashtag” in normal conversations.

7) The Complainer
Some passengers are just never happy as the car is too hot and then gets too cold, the seats uncomfortable and too stiff or maybe they are just too soft and feel stiff and the radio has a funny tone so turn it off but it can get too quiet and the road noise is annoying so leave it on. The complainer has a negative opinion on just about everything, they criticise your route, tell you to change lanes, comment on how fast or slow you’re going and generally don’t think much of your choice of car.

Geraldine Herbert

8th July 2022

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Motoring journalist Geraldine Herbert is the founder of wheelsforwomen. A jury member for the International Women’s World Car of the Year, she has been a motoring journalist for over ten years and is the motoring expert for Good Housekeeping Magazine and their “Women at the Wheel” section of You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

Share This Post On